There is no hope


I was sitting down at Whampoa market waiting for my chye tow kuay to be ready, and next to me was this gangly, pimply teenage fella sitting across from who I assume to be his mother, who was stacking up hers and her son’s empty bowls and chopsticks because they’d just finished her lunch and it seemed the right thing for her to do, because it’d make it easier for the hawker centre cleaner dude/lady to clean up.

So it was really not very nice of her son, the gangly, pimply teenage fella with the annoying gangly, pimply teenage fella voice – you know, when they’re 17 they still sound as if their voice just broke – to tell her off, saying, “you help them clean up for what? Leave it lah! Go restaurant also like that, come here also like that!”

The mother must have been a little taken aback, because I think ordinarily, she, like all good mothers everywhere, would have given the fella two tight slaps and a smack on the top of his head with the chopsticks held together in her fist.


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8 responses to “There is no hope”

  1. pangzter Avatar

    Ehhhhhh yah! I've come across these fellas a couple of times and surprisingly, all of them were teenagers.

    I've learnt to accept that this is perhaps the culture nowadays and I thought everyone else had the same thinking, but no.

    Mr. Miyagi, you are a man with principle, and I really admire that. Something we can all work on too.

  2. claudia Avatar

    I wonder what Singapore will become 10years down the road with these fellas growing up and starting to work in the society. It's very sad but what can people do?

  3. lorrytyre Avatar

    hmm, instead of son telling mum off, i thought that it would be better if the son stack up the finished dishes for ma.

    by not telling his son off, well, i say the mum is really giving face to his son.

    i couldnt remember how many times i told my ma off because she keep sacrificing her time to make sure i return home from work without needing to worry about dinner and chores. ma is the greatest.

    if he's going ns, i hope ns will teach him some manners towards his ma.

  4. lincoln Avatar


    A social divide ? Lack of basic social etiquette ? No civic mindedness?

  5. circuit boy Avatar
    circuit boy

    less salt
    less oil
    less sweet=

    less customer.

  6. pwnzorzz Avatar

    wtf is wrong with the world

  7. pwnzorzz Avatar

    wtf is wrong with the world

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